The two Short Skyvans which the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) purchased last year touched down at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Friday.
The British-made aircraft, bearing registrations 8R-GBW and 8R-GWJ, received a ‘warm welcome’ by the GDF Air Corps staff on Friday.
The Short SC7 Skyvan is a British 19-seat twin-turboprop aircraft. The high wing, twin-engine carrier has always been pegged as an ideal craft for Guyana given its STOL– Short Takeoff and Landing abilities –which will suit the country’s short interior airstrips.
The GDF had been operating two helicopters–the GDF One and GDF Two–while problems led to the grounding of its Bell 412 helicopter. The GDF’s fleet had also included another 1960s British-made Skyvan, 8R-GGK, with several years of operation.
A Chinese, Harbin Y-12 aircraft and a single-engine Cessna 206 seized during a drug raid were also in the mix. The army also received two Britten-Norman Islanders model aircraft in August 2018 but mechanical issues have left them grounded. The army is in the process of acquiring the necessary parts to fix the two planes.